Feature wish list

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    Oliver Kreylos

    2) I always liked the idea of being able to build known land forms say the Everest region.
    –> go to google earth in contour mode and run a difference between the measured sand box and desired contour shape then project a gradient to either add or subtract sand to different parts of the box. (Perhaps a little complex for a museum environment but ok for an older class room.)

    That’s been in the AR Sandbox for a while now, https://youtu.be/nPba_9WzdjI?t=11m37s

    See DEM Help and Terrian [sic] Model?



    Looking to build this for an upcoming space science center in Belgium, specifically for an exhibition on the Moon, so I have some questions/feature requests:

    – is it possible to simulate the moon? Disabling water + adjusting colormap is the first thing that comes to mind, anything else possible to make it more realistic?
    – is it hard to interface with your software and take the height map in, and return an image to the software? Kind of an add-on which takes over the normal processing. I have some ideas 😉


    Sorry for bumping an old thread. Is there a better place for feature requests? Once again thanks much for a wonderful project.

    It would be nice if once the first pass in CalibrateProjector was completed and you were able to check things with the red cross hairs, that you could also manually pick new tie points with the mouse. We would use this feature to get better registration at the edges of the sandbox.



    Thanks so much for this demo



    First I want to thank you for your vision, time and dedication toward creating this complex suite of VR software. I built and brought a AR Sandbox to the Burning Man festival last year and it was a big hit. The most difficult part of the project was providing a dust free, climate controlled environment for the computer and projector – the temperatures exceeded 100F almost everyday so it was a challenge.

    Perhaps this feature already exists and have not yet found it, but I would like to second one of the requests made up-thread – I would like to be able to create fixed local water sources and sinks to allow for continuously flowing water. Beyond making big volcanoes, the second most popular construction was that of dams and winding rivers. One’s arm can get pretty tired holding a hand out over fixed location to achieve this. Again, perhaps this feature already exists and I am just overlooking it. I spent enough time looking at the code to figure out that that I would need to learn quite a bit more about the underlying architecture to add the feature myself. My approach would involve adding or modifying the local water tool functionality to support key bindings to support placement of permanent source or sink at the current hand position. I would probably use the global water tool to erase any fixed local water placements.

    Oh, the new water simulation mode is fantastic!

    Thanks. -g.b.

    • This reply was modified 3 years ago by gregb.
    Oliver Kreylos

    There isn’t a direct feature for continuous local rain in the AR Sandbox code. However, there’s a Vrui way to simulate it. The local rain tool, like all other tools, is bound to an input device, such as the mouse. Vrui lets the user create an arbitrary number of virtual input devices dynamically, and then bind tools to them as to any other device.

    Basic steps:

    1. Create a new virtual input device with two buttons by selecting “Vrui System” -> “Devices” -> “Create Two-Button Device” from the main menu. This creates a grey wireframe box with two small cubes above it and one small cube below in the middle of the screen.

    2. Bind a tool to control virtual input devices to the mouse. Press an unused mouse button or key, and select “User Interface” -> “Input Device Driver” -> “Ray-Based Driver” from the tool menu. Press the same button or key again to confirm.

    3. Now you can pick up and move the grey wireframe box by pointing at it with the mouse and holding the button/key to which you assigned the ray-based driver tool. You can toggle the virtual device’s button by selecting either of the two cubes above the box with the same button/key. A “pressed” button turns green. The first time you press a button, the tool selection menu pops up. Now move the virtual device to highlight “Manage Water Locally,” then toggle the virtual button off. Toggle the other virtual button on and off to assign the “drain” function.

    4. Now move the virtual device anywhere over the terrain, and toggle on its first button. It will start raining until you toggle the button off again.


    Regarding Sand. I started out with kinetic sand and it didn’t stick to our hands but it was harder to manipulate and wasn’t as bright on the colors. Next I started mixing in Sandtastik fine white sand and it worked better. Now I use a 3 to 1 ratio of regular to kinetic and it works great! Still doesn’t stick and better to work with!


    Hello there,

    I was wondering about Kinetic sand’s usage. Do you have any photos or video footage of your mixture in action? My department is telling me to “fix” our AR table and the only thing I see that needs correcting is the lining up of the sand with the image. I’ve noticed that our Kinect sensor was on a flimsy mount so I’m having a metal one created. Also, the floor in our lab room is not perfectly flat, thus starting out with a smooth even surface is proving difficult, especially when trying to smooth out the Santaskic sand. If you have images and tips, please send them to me via email. julie.burcham@gcccd.edu

    – Julie

    Oliver Kreylos

    If your alignment is off, run the calibration steps outlined in this guide, starting at Step 7.

    You definitely want to mount the Kinect camera as securely as possible, or you will have to re-calibrate all the time.


    Thank you so much! We will try this!


    Hello All,

    I’m wondering if there is a way for a computer across a network to display what is happening in the AR sandbox. Ideally I was wanting to have a VR view of the sandboxes topography. Like a second monitor that Oliver has shown us how to set up, but across a network.

    I have an AR-sandbox running in my middle school classroom on one end and I have a large screen/computer (Promethean Board) on the other end of my classroom. I guess it is possible to run a long HDMI cord to the second screen, but a network option would be simpler, physically.

    An emulated monitor with screen sharing? Has anyone done this? I have an installation of Ubuntu running on the second computer I am looking to use across the network.



    Oliver Kreylos

    I added a remote viewing feature a while ago, see https://youtu.be/6_TTNfz9Vkg , but haven’t released that new version of the SARndbox package yet.

    Essentially, you need a second computer also running the SARndbox software, and connect them over a local-area network. Streaming the view requires very high bandwidth right now, so the best way is to connect the two computers directly with an Ethernet cable.


    Thanks, Oliver! I’ll look forward to this feature in future releases.


    Does the features have been updated in the latest SARnbox software? when it is?



    Just a thought after a year of distanced meetings … you can use good old Zoom to share the sandbox screens across the network without too much delay/degradation – and it even allows remote control of the mouse/keyboard assignments!


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